George Hazelrigg enjoyed designing and building things when he was young, so he decided to go to college to study engineering. He obtained a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology, NJIT), and MA, MSE, and PhD degrees in aerospace engineering from Princeton University. He worked for 6 years in the aerospace industry at Curtiss-Wright, General Dynamics and the Jet Propulsion Lab, and taught engineering at NJIT, Princeton University, UC San Diego, Polytechnic University, Ajou University in Korea and École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal. In the early 1970s, he helped to form a consulting company where he worked for seven years. In 1982, he joined the National Science Foundation. Over the next 35 years, he ran seven research programs in four different divisions, served as Deputy Division Director and Acting Division Director for the Division of Electrical, Communications and Systems Engineering (ECSE) and the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI), and oversaw annual research budgets of up to $210 million. In January, 1996, he did a stint as Station Science Leader of the U.S. South Pole Station. For relaxation, he spends his weekends soaring over the Shenandoah Valley, and he is a certified flight instructor in gliders (CFI-G) with about 1,900 total flying hours.
In his 35 years at NSF, Dr. Hazelrigg oversaw the review of approximately 5,000 proposals by over 200 panels, and signed off on awards and declinations for some 50,000 additional proposals. He has written and lectured extensively on proposal writing for the past 25 years and has met one-on-one with hundreds of PIs. For the past 15 years, he has been the key speaker at the NSF CMMI CAREER proposal writing workshops. He has reached out to and mentored over 2,000 young faculty through his proposal writing workshops.